Wednesday, 24 June 2009

#97 Cheap Stakes

No recession talk. Promise. But it just so happens that I've stumbled across some extraordinary econo-buys of late, and if it's a toss between penny pinching and sharing the wealth, I'm all for the latter. So, here my dears:

1) Johnson and Johnson 3 in 1 Make-up Remover
A big swig, soaked on a cotton pad, pressed over the eye, then swept to the side, removes heavy eye make-up far better than some far steeper alternatives. Yep, it's oily, but for heavy duty make-up that's always good thing (it means less mechanical force is needed!). Despite the fact that I would only use it on my eyes and not as an all-over cleanser, it does have several plus points: it doesn't sting, it isn't heavy, it isn't fragranced. It's my first step every night now, before I go over my skin with Spiezia or Sarah Chapman Cleanser for a proper clean. Weirdly, I swear it's made my eyelashes grow a bit too.

2) Dr Organic Aloe Vera Skin Lotion (available at Holland & Barrett). Now, this is no better than several other cheap, cheerful & almost all-natural formulas (I like J.R.Watkins more than Jergens, but both do the job), but it has one advantage over the competition. It really does soothe sore skin - as I found when I had a bad reaction to a spot of epilation. A layer of this took away the sting almost immediately and within a couple of hours, skin looked far calmer. It also feels nice after a day in the sun. A little also goes a long way.

In the mid-range, I really like Jemma Kidd's Semi-Permanent Lash Tint because it doesn't budge and goes on deeply, inkily black - like the gravy-thick ink that spurts out of printer cartridges. It does take some getting used to, and if caught on lids will need to be removed straight away with an oil-based eye make-up remover, BUT swept over the very ends of lashes, it gives a lovely natural feathery finish, which fakes length far better than any of the lengthening formula mascaras I've tried. Plus, on sweat-prone summer days, it's good to know your eyes ain't going nowhere.

Then there are the two premium products I've tried this week, which are getting two thumbs down. The first is Clinique Self Sun Face Bronzing Gel Tint. In the time it took me to squeeze a small blob out of the tube and decide where to apply it, it stained my finger. I rinsed the product off, then used soap & water, then scrubbed with a brush. The stain didn't budge. Now, this could just have been a particularly pigment-rich bit of cream caught in the first squeeze, but, well, who wants to risk a brown splodge on their face for the remainder of the day? Not me.

Next, Kate Somerville's Exfoli-Kate. Anyone who reads up on potential purchases on (you should, by the way, it's a goldmine of objective advice) will already be familiar with the Jekyll/Hyde reactions to this range. Some claim it's their HG (that's 'holy grail' - LOL), whereas others feel it's overpriced, overrated, and massively under-performing. Well, having already tried some of the best exfoliants on the market (courtesy of Agera and Dermalogica and Elemis), this one had a lot to live up to. It did not. Firstly, it was immensely hard to spread over the skin. Secondly, the dispenser, though theoretically impressive, really only dispensed the smallest amount, which covered barely half a cheek, so I kept pumping away, unsure of how much I needed/if I was overdoing it/whether or not I just wasn't spreading it properly/if there was a chance I might end up in the Accident & Emergency with second-degree burns; thirdly, after using it, my skin tingled (and not in a good way)for about an hour, looked red (which is to be expected, if one heeds the pack) and the next day my chin was still a bit flaky. Hmmmm. If at first you don't succeed... it goes back on the shelf, and we'll see if I have better luck next time.

1 comment:

Ellen Burney said...

Snap. I've discovered - nevermind rediscovered - J&J Baby Oil. I've tried all sorts of shaving gels and always find that for the money they run out so fast and so, with a plethora of hair conditioners sitting at the side of the bath (I only really use intensive condt on my hair which leaves all the others useless beside them) I've often used conditioner instead. Good, but not always top marks. I also went through a phase of a bar of Dove being the shaving option of choice but for the last few weeks I've been using J&J Baby Oil and it's the smoothest for longest and softest my legs have ever been. What else? Parissa home bikini hot wax - amazing... and fun - oh god and Nivea. Just a slab of Nivea cream over freshly washed skin. On the luxe side of things though I am dousing my 60p cotton wool balls from Tesco(!) with Pure Rosewater from Chantecaille. Everything in moderation. xxx